Over on SIStv someone started a discussion about jealousy! It really got me thinking. I rarely post all about Cole and the cancer world on my blog, I save that for his website but today I just felt like it. So thanks to Kayla Aimee for making me THINK today!!!
I know everyone in the world is jealous of someone at sometime. I haven't really thought about it until today. But, I don't get as jealous as I used to. Sure, I'm jealous when I see friends talking about all the great new scrapping goodies they just got when I have no money!! :) Or I'm jealous that someone has this awesome studio to work in and I have a folding table in my guest room. But, these aren't big things, it's no biggie in anyway. I'll have money to buy all the scrap stuff I want one day and I'll have a studio that I can scrap in again one day! Several years ago I probably would have been jealous about so much more than I am today. Several years ago I was picked up out of my normal little mom/wife/college student life and plunked down into the medical world. I was going to college to be an Elementary Teacher! My biggest fear was special ed students. What if I get a student who was real medical issues and a nurse has to come in and do things??? This was one of the worst case scenarios we got in our ONE special ed class. It made me worry about what I was getting myself into! Less than a year later - I was surrounded by little children who were bald, who were in wheel chairs, or being pulled in wagons because they were too weak to walk. Children who had central lines in their chest and had highly toxic chemo being pumped into their sweet little innocent body. It was nothing unusual in this world to see a kid sitting in a wagon or wheel chair with a sick bucket in their lap. I actually got used to seeing people throw up everywhere around me. I remember one night at dinner - at Outback Steakhouse - were three cancer kids were enjoying their meal, along with their parents. At one time or another, each of the kids were throwing up. We were passing out nice cloth napkins and handing out Zofran - anything to help. This was something we were used to!!
When Cole was diagnosed with a brain tumor, we were told 'if you're going to have a brain tumor, this is the best one to have' and I remember thinking, are you kidding me??? A good brain tumor? No Way! Not in my child! No brain tumor is what we want. And at first, the word cancer never came into play! It's just some strange tumor, they'll take it out, he'll be fine! Wow, was I naive! Cancer suddenly became a common word - something we didn't whisper like we were scared to say it - something we just had to talk about. We met families that had the worst brain tumors, the worst cancers. I remember sitting in our apartment in Memphis one afternoon with another cancer mom - our boys were playing in Cole's room, both bald, both with central lines in their chest. I said to her - it's so scary, we've met kids with the worst cancers. Kids that may not make it and its so scary. She agreed. Less than a year later - two of those kids I was thinking of at the time were gone! Sweet kids who fought so hard and deserved better. The should still be here today - running around healthy! I think of Zach's sweet smile and how he always said hey to me, even when you could tell he felt terrible. He told his mom something along these lines before he died; if she saw pink and blue clouds in the sky, it was him looking out for her. He was only four!! Every single time I see a sky that's all pink and blue, I think of Zach! I smile because I know he is up there - looking out for his mom. And Jake - sweet Jake - his family went through so much, he went through so much, and didn't make it. His family has since hit a jackpot at a casino and won enough money to have paid for any treatment that would have cured him. They are spending that money on helping other kids with cancer, finding a cure for pediatric cancers, helping others, paying it forward. What a wonderful example huh? You think they are jealous that their child is gone and there are so many still here? Probably so - especially on the bad days. But they go on and on and help others.
How can I wallow in my own problems when so many others have had so many things happen that are worse than I could ever imagine? I can't! Most of our little cancer friends have websites. I check them all the time. I know when they are having scans, check ups, etc. I pay attention to how they are doing. I always wish I could do more - send happies and things to cheer them up. I don't have money to do it so I don't get to often. But I want to and I want to read about them. I need the reminder of how lucky we are. I need to know that Cole won - that he survived. I need the reminder. It's so sad. Well, HELLO? Yeah it's horrible, but ya know what? Reading about their life isn't as bad as living their life and I know that almost first hand. I know what's it's like to post on your kids website that you need prayers for the big scan's next week and how you are inpatient again with fever and it sucks. We were lucky in that Cole's treatment is over and he's cured - healthy and happy. The little side effects we deal with now are just a reminder of how lucky we are. Sure, he has to wear glasses and will probably start getting growth hormone shots soon - but he's HERE and alive and I'm so lucky he's in my life.
I'm not trying to take away from jealousy or it's meaning or what it does to anyone. I'm just trying to say that today I realized why I am not as jealous of a person as I used to be. I GOT that today - figured it out! Sometimes the green monster tries to rear its ugly head and I have to keep it in check. Remember how lucky I've been in my life. It's hard - but it's doable. I feel like God does everything for a reason. I know everything happens for a reason and like another cancer mom told me - she doesn't always want to know the reason because it may not be good enough for her! That is so true! I know that at some point in time, each person on this earth will get what they need from God that allows them to let go of something in their life that they don't need anymore - for me it was jealousy and the worry over my future as a teacher. Those were issues for me and God said - ok - I'll fix that. I felt like he picked me up and put me in the very situation I feared (kids with needs other than a crayon) and said - DEAL with it. And I did. Now I don't think Cole had cancer strictly for this to benefit me, but it was just a bonus along the way. I doubt I'll ever know why he had cancer, and don't really want to - I trust in God that he does all things for a reason, so who am I to question it??
So, I hope and pray that everyone in the world will get what they need from God in some form. Something that allows them to take what they have and deal with the rest. If you are a person that becomes jealous of others, I'm betting that you use that to make you work harder to accomplish what you want, so maybe you've already received what you need to deal with the rest!!! Any time you use your emotions to better yourself in some way - that's a good thing!!
Ok, so I think I've rambled on enough. And since it's been a while since I've mentioned Kenny Chesney - I'll do it today. There is one song that I really love because one line really stuck out to me - 'here's to love lost and new found friends, and living out life in the boat we're in.' That says it all for me - we lose things, we gain things, we just have to live with what we've got and make the most of it!!!
Thanks again to Kayla Aimee for making me think differently today!! It's nice when something unfolds in your head and heart and you realize the meaning of it and it's importance!!